Sportswear is an American fashion term originally used to describe separates, but which, since the 1930s, has come to be applied to day and evening fashions of varying degrees of formality that demonstrate a specific relaxed approach to their design, while remaining appropriate for a wide range of social occasions. The term is not necessarily synonymous with activewear, clothing designed specifically for participants in sporting pursuits. Although sports clothing was available from European haute couture houses and "sporty" garments were increasingly worn as everyday or informal wear, the early American sportswear designers were associated with ready-to-wear manufacturers. While most fashions in America in the early 20th century were directly copied from, or influenced heavily by Paris, American sportswear became a home-grown exception to this rule, and could be described as the American Look. Sportswear was designed to be easy to look after, with accessible fastenings that enabled a modern emancipated woman to dress herself without a maid's assistance.
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Choose from either the Rec Kit (made for everyday activity), or the Tech Kit (which is designed to keep you cool during high intensity workouts) from this brand and you’ll get a matching top and bottom for $95. While that’s a good chunk of change, the company focuses on making versatile products that can handle a ton of work, so it will be worth every penny.
Quality over quantity is this brand's motto. If you have great gear that can hold up to intense workouts and lots of laundry sessions, then you don’t need a ton of it. Fourlaps uses odor-resistant, moisture wicking technology in all of its fabrics. The brand's “Level Collection” fabric even has the ability to allow heat to escape when you sweat, while trapping in the warmth when the weather gets chilly.
In the late 1940s and 1950s non-American designers began to pay attention to sportswear, and attempted to produce collections following its principle. French couturiers including Dior and Fath simplified their designs for ready-to-wear production, but at first only the Italian designers understood the sportswear principle. Italy already had a reputation for fine fabrics and excellent workmanship, and the emergence of high quality Italian ready-to-wear that combined this luxury with the casual quality of American sportswear ensured the worldwide success of Italian fashion by the mid-1970s. Italian designers, including Emilio Pucci and Simonetta Visconti, grasped that there was a market for clothing that combined sophistication and comfort. This was a challenge to the American industry. John Fairchild, the outspoken publisher of Women's Wear Daily opined that Krizia, Missoni, and other Italian designers were "the first to make refined sportswear."
Whether you're a hardcore gym rat, a runner, a climber or a fitness beginner, we've got men's workout clothes to suit. Performance T-Shirts and mesh tanks keep you cool and dry, while slouchy joggers, knit and woven workout pants and sleek athletic tights are all designed to maximize comfort and ease movement. Check out our wide selection of men's cross training shoes, running shoes and athletic shoes too—because the right footwear and gym shoes are key to taking you all the way to your fitness goals. Once you've chosen the activewear and training gear that's right for you, find a rugged gym bag to stash it all when you're on the go.
Rebecca Arnold and Emily S. Rosenberg have noted how the American look, demonstrated through healthy teeth and the use of affordable, good-quality fashionable clothing to present a neat and practical appearance, despite claims of egalitarianism, was ultimately held up against white standards of beauty. Rosenberg has pointed out a six-page spread in LIFE dated May 21, 1945, which explicitly described girls with an athletic 'American look' of good teeth, good grooming, and good, not-too-masculine, simple, neat attire, as being seen as preferable to girls from England, France, Australia or Polynesia.
We decided to help narrow the playing field by asking some of our favorite fitness experts and trainers—you know, the guys who spend their days (and early mornings, and evenings, and sometimes even nights) decked out in activewear and athleisure. Who better to give you the truth about the best fitness gear? Here are pricey men’s activewear and athleisure brands that are worth the price tag, according to trainers and fitness pros.